Lefkoff Case Pack BMGT 350 Spring 2012

Lefkoff Case Pack BMGT 350 Spring 2012 - LEFKOFF CASE PACK,...

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LEFKOFF CASE PACK, BMGT 350 SPRING 2012 Chapter 1 CASE ASSIGNMENT: Harmonix Ready for Primetime Little more than three years ago you had probably never heard of Harmonix. In 2005 the videogame design studio released Guitar Hero , which subsequently became the fastest videogame in history to top $1 billion in North American sales. The game concept focuses around a plastic guitar-shaped controller. Players press colored buttons along the guitar neck to match a series of dots that scroll down the TV in time with music from a famous rock tune, such as the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” Players score points based on their accuracy. In November 2007, Harmonix released Rock Band , adding drums, vocals, and bass guitar options to the game. Rock Band has sold over 3.5 million units with a $169 price tag (most videogames retail at $50–60). In 2006, Harmonix’s founders sold the company to Viacom for $175 million, maintaining their operational autonomy while providing them greater budgets for product development and licensing music for their games. Harmonix’s success, however, did not come overnight. The company was originally founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy in 1995, focused around some demo software they had created in graduate school and a company vision of providing a way for people without much musical training or talent to experience the joy of playing and creating music. The founders believed that if people had the opportunity to create their own music, they would jump at the chance. Their software, which they eventually dubbed The Axe, provided basic music composition tutorials and allowed participants to use a joystick to improvise solos along to popular music tracks. They attempted to market their creation through an interface with Japanese karaoke machines, a demo package deal with Intel, and even in an exhibition at Disney’s Epcot. And while the software always proved technically impressive, people generally expressed little initial interest in trying it out, or else it just didn’t seem like they were having much fun. In 2000, Rigopulos and Egozy hit on a concept that would engage consumers, and Harmonix became a videogame company. Where The Axe software provided an improvisation program with no set goal, most videogames were designed with a purpose and offered competition, which helped engage, direct, and motivate players. At the time, the market for music-based games had not fully developed, but especially in Japan, rhythm-based games, in which players would tap different combinations of buttons in time with a beat or a tune, were becoming increasingly more popular. Harmonix created two games, Frequency and Amplitude , in which players hit buttons along with a beat, unlocking tracks for different layers of instruments in a song. Neither of the games proved especially successful, however, as both were very complex and the expense of generating initial interest proved too high for their publisher, Sony, to
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Lefkoff Case Pack BMGT 350 Spring 2012 - LEFKOFF CASE PACK,...

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